Muhammad, peace be upon him, was a shy, reticent man who lived among his people with such high moral character they called him al-Amîn — the Trustworthy.
The Prophet’s unique physical appearance, his high character and willingness to sacrifice for others, are often at the essence of any description of him. According to the narrations from his Companions he can be described in the following words:
Muhammad was imposing and majestic. His face was luminous like a full moon.
He was taller than medium but not excessive in height. He had wavy hair, which he parted and it never went beyond his shoulders. He was light-skinned with a high brow. He had full eyebrows and a small space between them. His beard was full, his eyes black. His physique was supple and lithe, with a full chest and broad shoulders. When he walked, he was determined and his pace was as if he was walking down hill.
He was decisive and whole-hearted in everything he did, so intent on the task at hand that he never looked over his shoulder, even if his cloak got caught in a thorny bush.
When he spoke he was always brief and reflective. He spoke when he saw benefit and spent long periods in silent contemplation. His speech was comprehensive being neither wordy nor abrupt. He had a mild temperament and was never harsh nor cruel, coarse nor rude. He expressed gratitude for everything given to him no matter how insignificant. When he spoke, his companions lowered their heads as if birds were perched upon them. When he was silent, they felt free to speak. He never criticized food or praised it excessively. He never swore, nor did he find fault in people. He did not flatter people but praised them when appropriate.
When he did turn to speak to somebody, he used to swing his entire body around and address them full face. When he shook hands, he was never the first to withdraw his own.
People entered his gatherings as seekers and left enlightened. He would ask about his companions when they were absent often making inquiries about people’s needs. He never stood nor sat without mentioning the name of God. He never reserved a special place for himself in a gathering and sat where space was provided. He gave each of those who sat with him such full attention that everyone felt that he was the most important person in that gathering. Voices were never raised in his presence. The aged were respected for their age and the young were shown compassion for their youth.
His wives and Companions spoke of his humour and cheerfulness. He said once, “I joke but always tell the truth.”
His wife Aisha said, “he was always making us laugh in the house.” One of his names is ad-dahhak — the smiling one.
Once an old woman asked him if she would enter paradise and he replied, “Old people don’t go to heaven!” The woman was crestfallen with the answer he had provided, to which he added with a smile, “You shall enter paradise in the prime of your youth.”
And once a gruff desert Bedouin came into the mosque and prayed out loud saying, “O God forgive me and Muhammad and don’t forgive anyone else.” Hearing this the Prophet laughed and said to him, “You are limiting the vast mercy of God.”
He died on the same day he was born, in the same house he had lived in for ten years in Medina, on a small bed made of leather stuffed with palm fibres, in the arms of his beloved wife Aishah.
His dying words were, “Treat your women well, and do not oppress your servants, the prayer, the prayer, don’t be neglectful of the prayer. O God, my highest companion, O highest companion.”
Muhammad exemplifies the strong and profound relationship that each human being ought to have with his Creator, his fellow human beings, and the world around him. May Almighty God and His angels and all His creation bless him and greet him with the salutations of peace!